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UK records 1,610 daily Covid-19 deaths, highest figure since start of pandemic
19 January 2021, 18:31
A further 1,610 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 - the highest number of UK deaths reported on a single day since the outbreak began.
The new record figure brings the UK total for those who have died after contracting coronavirus to 91,470.
Dr Yvonne Doyle, PHE's medical director, said the country should be braced for further deaths and urged people to keep to the current social restrictions.
"Each death is a tragedy and the number of Covid-19 related deaths within 28 days of a positive test will continue for some time throughout this second wave," she said.
"Whilst there are some early signs that show our sacrifices are working, we must continue to strictly abide by the measures in place. By reducing our contacts and staying at home we will see a fall in the number of infections over time."
A further 33,355 new daily cases were reported, a significant drop on the previous day. It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 3,466,849.
Public Health England also said a total of 4,266,577 people in the UK had received the first dose of a vaccine, a rise of 204,076 on Monday's figures.
Monday's figures showed 599 deaths and 37,535 cases were reported.
After news of today's figures, shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth tweeted: "Awful. Horrific. Devastating. And it didn't have to be like this."
The figures were released after Nicola Sturgeon told politicians in Scotland that the country's lockdown would be extended until at least the middle of February.
Separate figures published by the UK's statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show that there have now been 108,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.
Many of the deaths included in Tuesday's total will have taken place over the past few days, with some occurring more than a week ago, but are only now being reported due to the fact that fewer deaths are formally recorded at weekends.
Antibody data on infection in private households published earlier suggested that one in eight people in England would have tested positive for antibodies to Covid-19 by December last year, up from one in 14 in October.
One in 10 in Wales had also been infected by December, alongside one in 13 in Northern Ireland and one in 11 in Scotland.